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Here’s a quick primer for getting started on Twitter:

  • Go to http://www.twitter.com/ and register yourself with a Twitter account.
  • Very important to add a photo/image and bio on your account.  Your bio doesn’t need to be formal, just describe what you do, why you’re on Twitter, etc.  (Important because most people will not follow someone who doesn’t identify themselves.)
  • I find it hard to use the web interface on Twitter so I use a small application on my desktop called Twhirl. It’s similar to an IM client like GoogleTalk, AIM, Yahoo, etc, but it pulls in all the messages you are following. It also gives you a tone alert for new messages and a different tone for any messages where your name is mentioned. (For me, it’s @chiprodgers for example.)
  • You can find the Twhirl application at http://twitter.com/downloads. Just go to that page, download it, install, and then it asks you for your Twitter account name and password.
  • To get started connecting with people (including SAP Mentors), here is a list of SAP-related people on Twitter. http://wiki.zsapping.com/pub:twitter:groups:sap:index
  • You can use it to find people’s names on Twitter, but it’s a wiki, so you should also update it with your twitter names as well.
  • Some people you’ll recognize are very active on Twitter from SAP Community, Mentors, bloggers, analysts, and others like Mark Yolton, Craig Cmehil, Marilyn Pratt, Mark Finnern, Gail Moody, Marco ten Vaanholt, Michael Bechauf, Thomas Jung, Natascha Schuberth, Chris Horak, Dan McWeeney, Jim Spath, Dick Hirsch, Marcelo Ramos, Dennis Howlett, Jen Robinson, Anne Petteroe, Michael Koch, and more!
  • You should also subscribe to some of the SAP main twitter accounts like the ones listed below.
  • There are some SAP Industry Reporter/ Analysts / Bloggers on twitter like @maggiefox, @jowyang, @shelisrael, @rhappe, @monkchips, @cote, @rwang0, @dahowlett, @jonerp, @timoreilly, and others.
  • You many also want to subscribe to a few general twitter accounts like @cnnbrk (CNN breaking news), @politicalticker (CNN political ticker), @NYTimes, etc.

Anyway, you can start following a few people to get an idea of how it works and start to understand the value.  Get a feel for conversations happening, and then “JUMP IN, the water’s warm!”

 

Some SAP Twitter accounts to follow:

  • @sapnetwork (this is an automatic RSS feed anytime a new SAP Community Network blog is posted)
  • @sapteched (News, announcements, deadlines — all about SAP TechEd)
  • @sapnews (SAP Press releases, etc.)
  • @saptv (SAP TV announcements when new video content is available.)
  • @sapcrm (Info, annoucnements, discussions around SAP CRM solutions.)
  • @businessobjects (same, but for BOBJ stuff)
  • @sapbrazil (SAP Brazil sending things related to that market.)
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    1. Jon Reed
      Good stuff Chip!

      I see a lot of understandable skepticism about Twitter, but I’ve found it very powerful in terms of building relationships in the SAP community. It’s not always easy to catch onto, but if you’re curious, I think you will find it very useful.

      Some great things to keep in mind about Twitter:

      – be yourself. People want to know a bit more about you than just your work.

      – be opinionated: People care about what you *really* think and would rather hear that than just see some links you found without knowing why they impacted you.

      – share information about what you do: many great Twitter conversations are sparked by a simple sharing of a daily SAP project you are working on or a problem you are seeking input on.

      – share articles that influence you: I don’t enjoy people who blast out links without thinking, but posting links is a great chance to share things that really affected your thinking or your skills. For example, I try to share one blog entry I particularly liked on SCN every day on Twitter. And yes, you can also share your own blog entries, which is how I found this, from Chip’s own Tweet.

      – also,  another good way to find SAP conversations on Twitter is to simply go to search.twitter.com, type in keywords like “SAP” or even “Netweaver” and follow those people who are having interesting conversations on these topics.

      – other third party Twitter apps folks swear by include: Seesmic Desktop and Tweetdeck.

      Oh, and I’m @jonerp. 🙂 See you on the Tweetstream!

      – Jon

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      1. Chip Rodgers Post author
        Great additions Jon! 

        I almost forgot (you reminded me) about my favorite point about Twitter.  The Twitter question is “What are you doing?”.  I think this is the wrong question to answer — who cares if you’re eating a ham sandwich.)  The better question to answer is “What’s getting my attention?”  If you think about it that way, you’ll be sharing important things that people will be interested in.

        And yes, btw, I’m at @chiprodgers.  See you on Twitter!

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      2. Marilyn Pratt
        Thanks @jonerp and @sjohannes for adding your tips to @chiprodgers intro to tweeting.

        I would add that tweeting is a way of expressing and amplifying opinions, personal, professional, technical, academic, political but should ultimately have a concrete purpose (aka the reason to converse and some value add that the conversation provides to the listeners or followers).

        So Retweeting, hashtags, and ratings should be ways to add value and all in the scope of 140 characters.  For example one can, as @jonerp suggests, RT(retweet) a particular SCN blog link that one particularly found interesting and also rate it.  One can #hashtag it to bring a category to it, and also “rate” it with a hashtag or comment using ++1 -1 signs.  These simple capabilities are “memes” that evolved over the short existence of twitter conversation as a communication tool and are accepted twitterquette (twitter etiquette) . 
        One can amplify something someone else said which shows their opinion and adds agreement or disagreement after the original quote by using >> to signify the end of the retweet (RT) and +1 (pluses and minuses) to signify agreement with or rating of opinions expressed.
        So in this simple 140 character format you can get a product opinion, a commentary and a rating all wrapped into a sentence.

        Example:
        RT @chiprodgers: @loic Sad because I have reverted back to Twhirl. I like Seesmic Desktop 0.4, but it overwhelms my CPU to 100%. #fail>>+1

        This retweet of @chiprodgers original comment to Seesmic founder @Loic, repeats the original product critique, demonstrates that @chiprodgers feels this performance issue is a strong failure and also shows that the person repeating @chiprodgers evaluation thinks it important enough and correct enough to repeat…and is glad for someone expressing that opinion which they agree with. Good deal of info in 140 chars.

        But what might be missing for some in all of this shorthand tweeting is: “the point”.  Why do this in the first place? Beyond the very humanizing way of letting your environment know what you are “up to” some business reasons might be:

        1) create product or topic or event awareness
        2) generate conversation around said product or topic or event
        3) create awareness of ideas for product improvement or provide dissenting opinions or provide a call for action
        3) engage directly with people vested in products or topics or events
        4) broadcast or share outcomes of conversations, events, critiques.
        In summary:
        awareness->dialogue->action
        In a business context without those 3 elements twittering could be frittering away time

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    2. Stephen Johannes
      Chip,

      Those are really great tips on getting started with twitter with SAP and I wish this was around a month or two ago when I started using twitter more actively.

      You also didn’t mention following #hashtags via the twitter clients like #sap or #crm, etc.  I find it another way to see what is going on in the twitterverse on those subjects.

      Awesome blog,

      Stephen

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    3. Amir Blich
      Chip,

      This is an excellent getting started guide for twitter with great additions by @jonerp.
      I also found the Twitter help pages helpful for first timers: http://help.twitter.com/portal

      I’m adding @SAPEcoHub to the list for those who wish to be updated about the progress of our customer facing online solution marketplace. We plan a nice twitter feed addition to EcoHub next month which will allow people to see real time updates. Stay tuned…

      Twitter is an important component of our efforts to share information and empower our ecosystem members. Seth Godin articulates an interesting value in this short post: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/05/the-difference-between-marketing-and-sales.html . This is true for every participant. We all become influencers and ambassadors if given the right information and incentives.

      Regards,
      Amir. (@blich)

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    4. Karin Tillotson
      Great Blog Chip!  I am hoping the new SAP Mentors will read this and add their twitter names to the wiki (hint hint new mentors).  Twitter has been a great way to keep connected with all of my SAP friends around the world.

      Karin

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    5. Jim Spath
      Thanks Chip.

      Just a reminder to folks who want to follow others – it’s a free community service (for now), so be sure to contribute.  I tend to block people who only listen, or appear to be faceless mouthpieces.

      @jspath55

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    6. Thorsten Franz
      Hi Chip,
      Thanks for this blog, which will hopefully bring more fun SAP people to our Twitter networks.
      I’d also like to recommend developers to check out the Twitter API at http://apiwiki.twitter.com/. It’s simple to program against and can serve as an example for good API design. It’s also fun to flex your fingers by creating Twitter clients in different technologies: Java, ABAP, Flex, … Twitter clients are the new Hello World. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Thorsten
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    7. Michael Nicholls
      During the migration process problems have been reported for this blog. The blog content may look corrupt due to not supported HTML code on this platform. Please adjust the blog content manually before moving it to an official community.
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    8. Bernhard Escherich
      Thanks for this excellent blog. Your blog gave me the right push and motivation to use Twitter more frequently.

      Thanks and best regards,
      Bernhard (on Twitter as @BEscherich)

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